Saturday, January 19, 2008


We are in the Pandya Kshetram Thirumeyyam. Accepting the prayers of Adusesha, the Lord is gracing the devotees in the reclining posture and to the request of sage Satya, He is gracing in the standing pose. His vahanam [vehicle] Garuda is standing near the Lord in the garbagruha. Garuda wanted to end the slavery of his mother, by bringing the Amrut. So, he prayed the Lord to bless him with success. We will now see the 17th sloka:

yukta-cestasya karmasu
yogo bhavati duhkha-ha

"He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system."

Dukha ha= capable of removing the distress, yogo bhavati = yoga is accomplished, yukta = just the sufficient, ahara = food, vihara = [just the sufficient] strolling, yukta = just the sufficient, cestasya karmasu= work in his business, yukta = just sufficient, svapnavabhodasya = sleep and alertness, such a person can accomplish yoga and can vanquish distress. Distress He is talking, is not just the suffering of not getting sleep or uneasiness due to excessive eating or tiredness due to excessive work. Earlier while understanding the word shanti, we saw six oormis or sufferings - asanaya [hunger], pibhasa [thirst], soha [ agony], moha [faint], jara [ aging] and maranam [death]. Yoga removes all these oormis. To accomplish yoga, one should have the required food, sleep, walk and involvement in work. All these are activities of a common man, like us. We can, therefore, have a sigh of relief that Gita is preached for people like us only. First He talks of food we eat. It should be pure so that the effect on our body also is pure. Such food will grow satva quality in us. We eat to live and not live to eat. We have to have balanced diet. Our stomach capacity has to be divided such that we fill half of it with solid food, one quarter for water and the balance one quarter is kept empty for air movement. This will ensure health. We have svasam, vadham and pittham [ according to Ayurveda or Siddha vaidyam]. If all these three are in equal proportion, body is in good health. All medicines are administered to ensure this equal proportion. Healthy body ensures proper functioning of mind. We should not take food that do not agree with our system. We should never consume food that has not been offered to Sri Krishna. All defects in the food are removed when we offer the food to the God. Vihara means some play or walking to digest the food taken. We have to mention here about the importance of observing fast on ekadasi, which occurs every fortnight. It ensures overhauling of the body system. Fasting in a fortnight will not cause any problem. When a patient is admitted in a hospital, he does not eat the normal food for a couple of days and just the saline water drips sustain the system and the patient is quite cheerful. So it is not necessary that we have to have our regular food to keep our systems in proper condition. After all, this fasting is just for a day in 15 days.More than this we also get the satisfaction of following Sri Krishna's advise [ He is going to tell the importance of fasting on ekadasi]. We have to involve ourselves in our work to the extent needed. We have to prioritise our requirements. Look at the Garuda here. He is used for procession for a maximum of 6 days or so in a year. All the other days he is resting only. So we have to have a balanced work schedule. Sufficient amount of sleep is to be there. Moderate food, stroll, work and sleep will make one to accomplish yoga capable of eliminating one's distress. Before going to bed, everyone can draw a balance sheet of that day's papa and punya deeds. Papa is expenditure and punya is revenue. We should at least repent for the papa done and close that account and not prolong it or carry over. We should not repeat such papa deeds. On the other hand, in case of punya deeds instead of patting ourselves for such deeds, we should try to excel them in the ensuing opportunities.

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